One rumor swirling around NFL circles the past couple of days is the Packers’ potential interest in trading for WR A.J. Green. Oh the irony of ironies. If the trade goes down, one can just imagine the banter between Green and CB Rasul Douglas as they square off in practice each day.
The Cardinals got a lot out of A.J. Green last year. And while he has yet to get on track this season, A.J. made what is arguably the most important catch of the Cardinals’ season on the 2 point conversion in Vegas that sent the game into overtime.
Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t trade A.J. Green to Green Bay. Why do anything to help out the Packers? After all, the Cardinals (3-4) are currently competing with the Packers (3-4) for a Wild Card spot. The Cardinals gifted the Packers Rasul Douglas last season and then gifted Douglas with one of the most egregious QB/WR miscommunications in the history of the Arizona Cardinals.
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Eagles (6-0) struck again this season by trading a 4th round pick to the Bears for veteran edge rusher Robert Quinn. By virtue of how the Eagles crushed the off-season and how they are now crushing their schedule, one would think that they are behaving like a team in a city that is hosting this year’s Super Bowl.
As for the Cardinals, they now find themselves in the catch-up mold. They are now trying to make up for so many lost opportunities and lost time. Can they do it?
In my opinion, the ultimate way the Cardinals can catch up and be a legitimate contender is to trade for this guy:
Live reaction from Roquan Smith hearing about the Quinn trade:— Bears Nation (3-4) (@BearsNationCHI) October 26, 2022
Video via @ChicagoBears pic.twitter.com/dyIdoZPPpm
If the Cardinals can’t stop the run and the steady diet of screen passes they have been getting torched on, then they have no chance to be legitimate contenders. Roquan Smith is the ideal ILB to take the romance out of the run and screen passes. He and Zaven Collins would form a formidable ILB tandem for years to come. The NFC West is run and RB heavy, especially now that Christian McCaffrey is on the 49ers and rookie sensation Kenneth Walker III of the 4-3 Seahawks is taking the NFL by storm. And we just know now that the Rams are trying to trade Cam Akers, they are going to add a high profile RB within the next 10 days or so.
And one of these top run stuffers (from teams most likely to look for draft capital):
- Mike Purcell, DEN, 81.6
- Matt Ioannidis, CAR, 76.9
- Malcolm Roach, NO, 75.3
- Davon Hamilton, JAC, 71.2
There has been a good deal of talk from Cardinals’ fans about trying to trade for DT Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders, who apparently is being shopped. The strength of Payne’s game is his pass rushing (67.5), but his run defense (45.3) is not going to help the Cardinals’ biggest need in the defensive interior, especially now that Rashard Lawrence is on the IR for at least 4 weeks.
At CB, now that Marco Wilson is gaining confidence, Byron Murphy is having a superb season and Antonio Hamilton is emerging as a bona fide playmaker, what the Cardinals need to see, before considering another trade for a CB, is what Trayvon Mullen can offer now that he appears healthy enough to play. Plus, at some point the coaches are apt to use Christian Matthew a little more than they have early on. Matthew adds a physical presence that is impressive.
Word is that if the Broncos lose to the Jaguars this wee, then the Broncos are planning to listen to trade offers for edge rusher Bradley Chubb. One would imagine that the prospect of acquiring Chubb would be of great interest to fellow NC State alum, Steve Keim. By virtue of his 24 pressures and 6 sacks, Chubb currently has the NFL’s 9th highest edge pass rushing grade (for players over 100 snaps) at 82.9. No question about it, landing Chubb could be an absolute coup for the Cardinals, who certainly have the draft capital to outbid the Rams.
Our good pal Brett Kollmann’s take on Chubb:
Steve Keim did not help the defense at last year’s trading deadline —- this year it is imperative that he makes more than one deal, if the Cardinals are going to become legit.